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Starter tools and watch repair kits


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1 hour ago, Johnnie said:

Also a list of tools that are needed to form the back bone of a decent kit so that once got, I can add to it as need be. Many thanks. Johnnie

There are many, many threads here answering these questions. Have the patience of browsing this section or use the search box on the top right.

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It's amazing the number of folk that get blinded by price! They think expensive means it must be good and cheap means it must be bad, what a load of b*****cks. There are cheap tools and expensive t

Cheap screwdrivers and cheap tweezers avoid. The screwdriver blades will break the tweezer ends will go out of shape that is if the points measure up In the first place and snap. Buy the best you can

What about the Bergeon 7812 Watchmakers Quick Service Kit? It would be 35 pounds over your budget (e.g. Cousins), but there won't be any waste in there.

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Hi Phil, that will do nicely, yes in UK, Cambridgeshire. I will Google those two names and have a look. Thank you Phil. Hi JDM, ok I will do a search as you suggested. Thank you JDM. Regards Johnnie

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Let me add that I don't think there are kits of quality above mediocre, except maybe for the Bergeon one which manly is for battery changing or bracelet sizing. Just buy what you need separately, according your needs, preferences and budget.

Edited by jdm
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  • 4 months later...

Very new here and feel somehow that I should be on a less expert site.

But before I go, could someone tell me what basic tools I might need to attempt my first servicing?

Are there perhaps, kits or packs available rather than pieces that might have to be bought individually?

My watches are all manual or automatic and mostly from the 50's to 70's.

I thought they were simple but have learned here that may not be the case!

Thank you.

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  • case back opening tools (for snap off and screw down case backs)
  • case holders (not always needed but they come in handy; I have a plastic one to not scratch the case)
  • movement holders (very important; usually come in pair of 2s, smaller and larger; mine are cheap and can be used on both sides so 4 sizes in total)
  • a good set of screwdrivers (very important to get a stone or something to sharpen them or a screwdriver sharpener)
  • hand removing tool (again I have a cheap one but it does the job just fine; there is also the 2 hand lever version but I prefer the special tool)
  • good loupe or magnification (one of those digital microscopes might come in handy)
  • a watchmaker's mat
  • good light source
  • hand fitting tool (you can use tweezers here I guess... as long as they are not sharp or pointy; I use the sides...)
  • a good set of tweezers
  • spring bar removing/installing tools (various types exist)
  • a watch crystal press (if you want to replace crystals that is; there is also a claw tool that can be used but only in some cases)
  • a digital double digit pair of good calipers (for measuring and stuff)
  • an air blowing tool (not sure what it's called; use this to blow off debris from parts; human breath should NOT be used to do this)
  • polywatch or various other acrylic crystal polishing substances (they say tooth paste works just as well)
  • a cushion watch/case/movement holder (can come in handy sometimes)
  • good oils and lubricants
  • oiling tools (a couple of variants exist)
  • watch part cleaning substances (in case they're dirty or rusty)

This is all I can think of for now...

Edited by Chopin
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To be honest I'm an amateur. Only serviced a few watches so far. Almost all of my tools are cheap (each costs a few $) but they do the job just fine especially if you are careful and patient.

If you worry about the costs you can just start cheap like me and see if it satisfies your needs.

It'll take some time to get all of the things that you need but you can get there in no time. :)

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7 hours ago, Oriawr1 said:

Very new here and feel somehow that I should be on a less expert site...

 

You are at the right place at the right time. This forum has a great group of people who love to help and teach people like us who are just starting in this exciting world of the watch repairing hobby. :)

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  • 3 months later...

Hello from Odessa, Texas!  As a beginner in watch repair, is there a repair kit that is a good starter kit on the market?  Before I invest in Swiss tools that cost a small fortune, I would like to start with a set of tools that will help me find out if I am as interested in watch repair as I think I am.  Thanks in advance for any advice or recommendations .

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I don't believe there are honestly, half of the kits I see have half of what I would consider essential and the other half of the kit is junk. Better to order specific tools from your choice of supplier, there are a lot of beginner tool advice threads if I'm not mistaken, I would look up the advice and then make an order that reflects your budgets and desires. 

Edited by Ishima
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I find nothing wrong in getting a cheap kit which gives you the basics like screwdrivers, tweezers, case opener, springbar tools etc. Even if these are not high quality will enable one to get a feeling of what is what, and at least replace batteries and straps, perhaps even more.

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Cheap screwdrivers and cheap tweezers avoid. The screwdriver blades will break the tweezer ends will go out of shape that is if the points measure up In the first place and snap. Buy the best you can afford. Cheap tools make work hard.   

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Hi Timtastic, I am pretty new and rely greatly on the knowledgeable people of this forum, so I am not the ideal person to give you advice but I will pass on the best advice I have received concerning tools. Buy the best screwdrivers and tweezers you can afford. 

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This mantra about 'buy the best you can afford' - that is, expensive, doesn't make sense and will scare away most beginners. How come my Indian screwdrivers never break and never slip? And my non-Dumont tweezers serves me perfectly? Remember, it's the person that does the job, not the tool.

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Plenty of good quality affordable tools out there just shop around. To begin with you want a good set of drivers, a good set of stainless steel precision tweezers, a couple of movement holders a dust tray or two, case back knife/pry tool (screw down style as well) a  quality loupe or two. Add some finger cots or gloves, a descent watch mat and a clean, spacious, well lit work spot. I think the only thing left that I use from my cheapie china kit is the screw back remover tool and the pry tool oh and the black rubberized movement holder, it's pretty good actually. Later you will want some mainspring winders, oilers/lubricants and a quality staking set. Then more and more AND MORE AND MORE AND MORE......infinity.  LOL..!!

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  • 1 month later...

First, I'm a complete novice and I'm looking to start my tool collection for watch repair. I have my eye on the build your own watch tool kit that is listed on Esslinger website. I did a search on the forum but didn't find anyone talking about this kit. Has anyone used it and is it worth the price?

https://www.esslinger.com/build-your-own-watch-tool-kit/

 

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12 hours ago, Link said:

First, I'm a complete novice and I'm looking to start my tool collection for watch repair. I have my eye on the build your own watch tool kit that is listed on Esslinger website. I did a search on the forum but didn't find anyone talking about this kit. Has anyone used it and is it worth the price?

https://www.esslinger.com/build-your-own-watch-tool-kit/

 

When I very first started with watches I purchased a similar kit. However as time progressed I replaced most of the tools with better quality ie the screwdrivers in the kit I purchased were crap.

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4 hours ago, clockboy said:

When I very first started with watches I purchased a similar kit. However as time progressed I replaced most of the tools with better quality ie the screwdrivers in the kit I purchased were crap.

Taking a quick look at the toolkit it looks impressive but is it really what you want to spend your money on? I'm thinking there's a couple ways to look at this purchase. First quality as clockboy mentioned is questionable. Then even if the quality wasn't questionable are these really the tools you want to start with?  Seems like it might be better purchasing the key tools to start with take care and time to pick the ones you think would be suitable then filling in with the rest of the tools as time goes on.

 

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I agree do some trawling on ebay and look for some better quality second hand tools.

Good tweezers and screwdrivers are essentual but you don't have to spend a fortune on them

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During my TZ courses, I had to purchase selected tools for each stage of the course, from there I went on, and purchased many more as time went by, tools, and equipment in watchmaking is a never ending procedure, but it doesn't have to be a burden, it can be a good investment, that said, save your money and buy wisely.

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